Julius Nyerere was born on April 13, 1922, and died on October 14, 1999. He was a Tanzanian politician who served as Prime Minister of Tanganyika from 1961 to 1962 and then as President from 1963 to 1964, before becoming President of Tanzania from 1964 to 1985. Nyerere was an African nationalist and African socialist in terms of ideology.
20 Julius Nyerere Quotes
- “No nation has the right to make decisions for another nation; no people for another people.”
2. “In Tanganyika we believe that only evil, Godless men would make the color of a man’s skin the criteria for granting him civil rights.”
3. “Peace is born of hope, when hope is gone there will be social upheavals.”
4. “We, in Africa, have no more need of being ‘converted’ to socialism than we have of being ‘taught’ democracy. Both are rooted in our past — in the traditional society which produced us.”
4. “Education is not a way of escaping poverty, it is a way of fighting it.”
5. “The development of the peoples means a rebellion.”
6. “Peace is born of hope, when hope is gone there will be social upheavals.”
7. “If you want to know one of my most fundamental convictions, it is that I am completely non-racialist. I do not understand racialism at all.”
8. “Give them the education which will train their heads to refuse the wretchedness of mind and skill their hands to develop the resources of Africa.”
9. “Unity will not make us rich, but it can make it difficult for Africa and the African peoples to be disregarded and humiliated.”
10.”In Tanzania, it was more than one hundred tribal units which lost their freedom; it was one nation that regained it.”
Famous Julius Nyerere Quotes
11.”There is no time to waste. We must either unite now or perish.”
12. “A man is developing himself when he grows, or earns, enough to provide decent conditions for himself and his family; he is not being developed if someone gives him these things.”
13. “Peace is born of hope, when hope is gone there will be social upheavals.”
14. “If a door is shut, attempts should be made to open it; if it is ajar, it should be pushed until it is wide open. In neither case should the door be blown up at the expense of those inside.”
15. “Capitalism means that the masses will work, and a few people – who may not labor at all – will benefit from that work. The few will sit down to a banquet, and the masses will eat whatever is left over.”
16. “The greatest contraceptive one can have in the developing world is the knowledge that your children will live.”
17. “Independence cannot be real if a nation depends upon gifts.”
18. “If real development is to take place, the people have to be involved.”
19. “The education provided must therefore encourage the development in each citizen of three things; an inquiring mind; and ability to learn from what others do, and reject or adapt it to his own needs; and a basic confidence in his own position as a free and equal member of the society, who values others and is valued by them for what he does and not for what he obtains.”
20. “Decisions made in Washington are more important to us than those made here in Dar es-Salaam. So, maybe my people should be allowed to vote in American presidential elections.”
My favorite Julius Nyerere Quotes, “No nation has the right to make decisions for another nation; no people for another people.”
Additional Read: Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere – Biography
Julius Nyerere was a statesman and politician from Tanzania who was instrumental in the country’s fight for independence from colonial rule. He was born in Tanganyika, a small town in what was then the British colony of Tanzania, now known as Butiama, on April 13, 1922.
Before receiving a scholarship to attend Makerere College in Uganda, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and English, Nyerere attended a local mission school. He continued his education at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where he graduated with a double major in history and economics.
Nyerere returned to Tanganyika in 1952 and joined the nationalist cause. In 1954, he established the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), which was crucial in Tanganyika’s achievement of independence in 1961. When the nation became a republic in 1962, Nyerere served as both the first prime minister and the first president of the nation.
Nyerere strongly backed African socialism, and his actions reflected this ideology. He worked to put policies into place that would accomplish this goal because he believed that the government had a duty to meet its citizens’ basic needs, including housing, healthcare, and education. In order to help small farmers increase their productivity and income, Nyerere’s policies included the creation of cooperative farms. He also pushed Swahili as the nation’s official tongue and urged Tanzanians to develop a sense of shared identity that went beyond ethnicity.
Nyerere was a charismatic figure who won admiration for his moral character and dedication to social justiceHe also actively opposed apartheid in South Africa and was a key figure in the global effort to delegitimize the system.
Nyerere resigned as president in 1985, but he remained a significant figure in Tanzanian politics until his passing in 1999.
Nyerere is regarded as one of Africa’s most forward-thinking leaders today. Millions of Tanzanians’ lives were improved by his policies, and he served as an inspiration to many generations of African leaders with his commitment to social justice. In Tanzania and across the continent, his legacy is still felt today.